Coben Does it again
Harlan Coben is the Babe Ruth—or, since he’s a basketball fan, the Michael Jordan/stephen Curry/lebron James— of mystery-thriller writers. His newest grand slam—er, three-pointer—is Don’t Let Go (Dutton, $28). Its protagonist is a suburban New Jersey detective who has been haunted for years by the strange death of his twin brother and the brother’s girlfriend, along with the simultaneous disappearance of his own girlfriend, who had just inexplicably broken up with him when he thought they would eventually get married. Why did she vanish without a trace? As you would expect from a Coben classic, the quest for the truth leads to more—and ever more dangerous—questions that take the plot through mind-bending twists and turns and keep the reader glued to the pages until the end.
What sets the detective off on this menacing odyssey is the news that his once-very-significant-other’s fingerprints have been found in a suspected murderer’s rental car. Violence, murder, an ultrasecret government program and more come together to make for a harrowing journey for our protagonist.
Ernest Hemingway could have learned a tip or two from Coben’s direct and punchy writing style. And Coben deftly intersperses his action sequences with observations about human behavior, such as when the detective has to deliver horrible news: “Some claim that the first step in the grieving process is denial. … I have found the opposite to be true: The first step is complete and immediate comprehension.”
Adding to my delight in this novel is that a piece of the action takes place right next to my hometown.